Singing group celebrates 30 years

From left to right, 30-year members Donna Ryder, director Kathy Greason, and Gerry Dostie. (Contributed photo)

Members of the Maine-ly Harmony women’s barbershop chorus celebrated 30 years of harmonizing and friendship on August 21 at the home of member Dee Dumais, in Auburn. Members hail from all over the state, singing the barbershop style of four-part harmony. Maine-ly Harmony is a chapter member of Harmony, Inc., which offers competitions, coaching and educational classes throughout the year. To book a performance, or to receive information about becoming a member of Maine-ly Harmony, call Nancie at 293-4778 or email

The 2020 census comes to central Maine

by Eric W. Austin

Some of you may have noticed a strange man or woman snooping around the neighborhood with a briefcase. Do not be alarmed. This is not a new type of high-class burglar brazenly scoping out your house for a midnight break-in.

Adrian Cronkhite, a partnership specialist with the United States Census Bureau, recently stopped by the China for a Lifetime Committee meeting to explain what they are up to. “We’re starting to conduct address canvasing – that’s determining where to count,” he said. “We send our address canvasers out to check to see if an address is still there.” Around ten percent of the U.S. population moves each year, which makes this preliminary step essential to conducting a successful census.

In most cases, said Cronkhite, address canvasers will not even need to knock on a door. They are simply trying to determine if an address has someone living there, and this can often be determined without bothering the homeowner. Address canvasers will be carrying an official badge identifying them as a government employee.

Nearly 14,000 Mainers are being enlisted in the effort to conduct the 2020 Census, and many positions are still available. Anyone looking for a short term job — typically lasting for 8-10 weeks — is encouraged to visit Most positions pay $16.50/hr and $0.58/mile.

Cronkhite also cautioned that people should be on the lookout for scammers. “If someone comes knocking on your door and they’re asking for a credit card, or they’re asking for money or anything like that, that’s fraud,” he said. “That’s not the census. The Census Bureau will never ask you for money. They won’t ask for your credit card number. They won’t ask for your social security number.”

Adrian Cronkhite took a roundabout path to his own position as a partnership specialist with the Census Bureau. Growing up in Dexter, he went to the University of Maine at Machias before enlisting in the military where he served for 14 years as a Green Beret in the Special Forces. That was followed by 12 years as a defense contractor and another eight years working directly for the federal government. Returning to Maine recently from Colorado, he bought the old Dexter shoe factory, closed in 2000, which he is in the process of renovating. He hopes to turn it into a shelter for homeless veterans when he retires following his current work for the 2020 Census.

The United States Census is required by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, which states: “[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” The first meeting of Congress was in 1789, with the first nationwide census conducted in 1790. This will be the 23rd census in the history of the United States.

An accurate count is essential, Cronkhite explained, in order to correctly apportion more than $675 billion in federal funding, of which around $4.1 billion is headed for the State of Maine. Census data is also used to define legislative districts, school districts and voter precincts.

The census will officially kick off on April 1, 2020. Each household will be sent a postcard with 10 questions. Everyone is required by law to complete the questionnaire. Answers can be completed by mail, over the phone by 800 number, or online using a unique security code provided by the Census Bureau.

According to Cronkhite, 17 percent of China residents did not complete the census in 2010. “If you don’t respond,” he said, “someone will come knocking on your door, and nobody wants that.”

Cronkhite emphasized that information the census collects is completely confidential. Census Bureau employees like Cronkhite are barred for life from revealing any information under Title 13 of the criminal code. “We cannot share the information with anybody,” Cronkhite explained. “If I was to share someone’s personal information, I can be fined $250,000 or five years [in federal prison].”

The census’ electronic infrastructure also has some of the best security in the world. “Sixteen hundred times a day someone tries to break into the census data,” said Cronkhite, “and no one’s been successful yet. We have our own standalone system. Your information is not going to be shared with the world.”

The personal information of individuals is never provided to anyone outside the Census Bureau – not the Congress, not even the President. Only statistical breakdowns are given to the legislative and executive branches of government. In fact, this same statistical information is available to the public and can be browsed by going to the web address

Maine presents a special problem to the Census Bureau. “Maine is a different animal,” Cronkhite said. “Maine and Alaska. There’s a lot of people living in northwest Maine that don’t even want to be recognized or found, so they are actually using satellite footage now to track down residents — [to find out] where people are living or staying – and I’ll have to get on a snowmobile or four-wheeler to go up there next April.”

On December 31, 2020, the president will receive the results of the census as a statistical breakdown. By March 31, 2021, towns will receive their counts and will be notified if the results of the census require redistricting.

So, if you see a stranger prowling around your property, don’t shoot! It might just be a 2020 census employee.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Making your small business outstanding!

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

When running your own business, no matter what size, it is important to find ways to make your business stand out. This is especially true when your business involves working at your customers’ homes.

When it comes to being special and outstanding it’s important to remember that the devil is in the details. It’s the small things that are going to make your company special to your customers, make them remember you, and use you again and, best of all, refer you to other potential customers.

Here are six simple things you can do to make your company outstanding:

  • Look professional: No matter what your business is, when you are going to people’s homes you have to look professional. Providing company shirts, for example. Make sure that your equipment is well-maintained and up to date. Make sure your vehicles are always clean and bearing your company’s name on the doors. It will make your look professional and, most important, serious about what you do.
  • Respect the customer’s property: If you are going into the house, make sure your shoes are clean, wear shoe covers, for example, this goes a long way to assuring your customers that you are a true professional. If you are working outside, don’t leave your tools all over the place and most importantly don’t be blasting music loud enough to be bothering not only your customer but the entire neighborhood as well.
  • Always be courteous and make sure the rest of your team is as well. You might think this is a given, but it’s not always the case. I have witnessed incidents where people were loud, or rude or, worst of all in one case, where a small business actually got into an argument with the customer! Always be impeccably polite. This puts the customer at ease and makes them comfortable enough with you to keep you coming back.
  • Listen. listening is one of the most important characteristics of any great customer relationship. Listen very carefully to what you customer wants you to do. Make sure you actually hear what the customer wants. And then repeat it back to the customer to make sure you are both on the same page. In some cases, it will not hurt to actually write it down in front of the customer. These are your instructions and you will be judged on how well you fully followed those instructions.
  • Clean up after yourself. No matter what your service, always leave the property as you found it, or even better than you found it. This will be very impressive to your customers and keep them coming back.
  • Provide the extras: Offer to do more than the service you were contracted to do. Notice things that you can do for your customer. If you are there to mow the grass and you see a shrub that needs trimming and shaping, do it without being asked, if you notice that the driveway needs sweeping, do that. It’s those little things that the customer will remember about you. Make sure you “get caught” performing those extra tasks. It pays off in the end, and also can lead to more business.

And one more…follow up. Within 24 hours of completing your job contact the customer to make sure that he is fully satisfied. This will not only make a very good impression on the customer, but it will also be a good opportunity to ask for more business, or, better yet, a referral. And that’s a great way to grow your business.

Dan Beaulieu has owned his own business consulting firm since 1995, during that time he has helped hundreds of companies all over the world with their sales growth challenges and issues. Originally from Maine he returned a few years ago and is ready and willing to help his fellow Mainers start and grow their business. He can be reached at 07-649-0879 or at

Obituaries for Thursday, September 5, 2019


June 24, 1993 – September 4, 2017

How is it possible that you have been gone for two years? Our hearts remain broken, and the pain of losing you will never end. We miss you terribly, but take comfort in our memories of you, and all the joy you brought our family. With all our love, Mom and John, Dad and Ruth, Amanda, and Sage.


ALBION — Phillip David Brown “Phil”, 37, passed away on Saturday, August 17, 2019, due to a tragic car accident.

When Phil walked in any room, it lit up when he smiled. If you needed a friend, he was always a phone call away. During and after any snowstorm if Phil saw an elderly person shoveling, he would stop and shovel the snow for them.

Phil loved being a father, fishing, sitting around a campfire, finding fiddleheads, coaching football, and doing carpentry. He was a man of many trades. While working you would always find him with his earbuds in jamming out.

Phil was predeceased by his brothers, Brian and Ricki.

Phil is survived by his father Richard Brown; mother Renee Hall; stepmother, Lori Brown; children, Aurora and Connor; wife, Maxine Brown Whiteside; brothers, Jeremy Brown and Brian Sims, sisters, Janet Smith and Angie Foster. Phil had many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins that he loved and adored.

An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at:

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 107 Main Street, Fairfield.


VASSALBORO — Christine Anne McCormick passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, August 18, 2019, due to medical complications. She was born in Worcester, Massachu­setts, on January 15, 1958. Christine, better known by many as Tina, and her former husband Paul Gamache, raised their two children in Waterville.

Tina was a nurturer by heart, and made every child around her feel welcomed and loved. She was very creative and crafty, and enjoyed teaching others to be the same.Tina loved to bake, it was her therapy. She spent most of her last year teaching her granddaughters to bake and sew. Tina had spent her last summer enjoying the company of her grandchildren and newly found friend, Effie Reynolds. Tina was an advocate for rescue animals. Her last two fur babies were Mika and Squirt. Tina was a beautiful person inside and out, and anyone that knew her cherished their time with her.

Tina felt at peace by the water and was lucky enough to spend her last summer on the lake at Effie’s camp. Her grandchildren were her world. She loved camping, dancing, cooking and playing poker.

Tina is survived by her daughter Brienna Pelletier and Wendell Baker, and son Sean Gamache and Amanda Jones; grandchildren Christopher, Meilani, Brayden, Dominic, Sabrina, William, Malaki, Michael, Elisha and Destiny.

An open Celebration of Life will be held at Fort Halifax Park, in Winslow, at 2 p.m., on Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Tina’s cremation is being handled by Funeral Alternatives in Augusta,.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name to the Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Rd., Waterville, ME 04901.


WATERVILLE – Shirley Margaret (Tardiff) Buzzell, 82, passed away on Saturday, August 24, 2019. Shirley was born in Waterville, the daughter of the late William and Aurora (Bouchard) Tardiff.

Shirley graduated from Lawrence High School, in Fairfield, in 1955, and while she lived elsewhere for a time, Maine was always her home. She was happiest when all the people she loved were close by. Shirley will be forever remembered for her candor, her wicked sense of humor, and her delicious banana bread. She loved her husband George immensely, and his death in 2011 left her bereft. The two enjoyed visiting family in Bar Harbor, driving up Cadillac Mountain, hosting family gatherings, and hollering to each other from different rooms in their home. She never really forgave him for leaving her to wash the dishes alone.

Shirley loved to read, knit, crochet, and bake, but most enjoyed sharing her gifts with others. One of Shirley’s hobbies was stockpiling food and dry goods; if you ever needed dish towels, tortiere pie or toilet paper, Shirley was your lady. She worked hard all her life and was a fixture in the local community. Her retirement capped off decades at The 107, in Winslow, making the best breakfast pizza, giving out pretzels to the kids, and chatting up loyal customers during her morning shift. Shirley also spent years waitressing at Ken’s Family Restaurant, in Winslow, before the flood of ‘87, and at the Winslow VFW. Her gregarious nature shined through in her work and endured to her last days. Shirley was most proud of her family, loyal friendships, and her 36 years of sobriety.

She leaves behind siblings Richard and his wife Shirley, and Sharon, as well as her children, Cyndi, Debbie, Steve, Tammy, Jeff, David, Ricky, Rose, Donna, Anne, Brenda, and Steve; her in-laws, nieces and nephews, and cousins; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband of 30 years, George, and her siblings Raymond, John, Patricia, Joan, James and Daniel.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to honor her love for her rescued dog, Casco, by way of the Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Road, Waterville, ME 04901, or to the important work of the Alzheimer’s Association of Maine, 383 US Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074.


FAIRFIELD — Rev. William “David” Lombard, 87, passed away on Sunday, August 25, 2019. He was born on February 1, 1932, to William Robert and Eva Lombard, in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

David grew up during the depression era, and like many boys during that time would have a paper route to help bring in a little extra money. His sister, Trudy, said he was quiet and confident and a great older brother.

After graduating from high school, David went to UMass Amherst and graduated with a degree in forestry. He dreamed of flying, and soon after college joined the Navy to become an aviator. After surviving the Dilbert Dunker and basic training, he flew the F9 Panther off USS Saipan. David was a fighter pilot and held the rank of lieutenant JG. He loved to teach and became a flight instructor. In addition to the F9 Panther David flew the SNJ Texan and trained many pilots from America and abroad. While serving in the Navy in Pensacola, Florida, he visited a Christian bookstore, where he met Janice Jones. They married on August 7, 1959. Later he would say, “she was the one for me.”

David felt the call to become a pastor, so he left the Navy and pursued a career in the ministry. Upon returning to New England, he attended Gordon Conwell Seminary to begin his life in the ministry. He was a full-time pastor for over 30 years, serving in Texas, Maine and New Hampshire. His last church was Boothbay Baptist Church, in which he ministered for more than 13 years. He had a servant’s heart and his great passion was helping those in need. He and Janice would return to Boothbay Baptist Church in 2009 to celebrate their 50th anniversary. David’s health had begun to worsen, so his wife cared for him until she passed away in 2018.

He was predeceased by Janice Lombard, his wife of 58 years; and his daughter, JoAnne Pike.

David is survived by his sisters, Sue Majeau, Marcia Hastings and Becca Beal-Lombard; his five children, Jim Lombard and wife Anne, Faith Hodgkins and husband Lyle, Deborah Foss and husband Jeff, Amy Langerin and husband Dave, and Michael Lombard; 14 grandchildren; and six-great-grandchildren.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral Home & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.


WINDSOR — Linda B. Nickerson, 67, died Sunday, August 25, 2019, at her home following a two-year battle with Multiple Myeloma. She was born in Augusta on August 27, 1951, a daughter of the late Alton and Anita (Roy) Beane.

Mrs. Nickerson was a 1969 graduate of Cony High School, in Augusta. She had been employed for over 37 years with the State of Maine, Department of Labor.

Mrs. Nickerson is survived by her husband of 50 years, Millard E. Nickerson III, of Windsor; a son Richard A. Nickerson and his wife Gretchen, of Augusta, two daughters, Lori N. Tungseth and her husband Nathan, of St Albans, England, and Lisa N. Taylor and her husband John, of Lawrenceville, Georgia; two sisters Delores DeMerchant and her husband John, of Vassalboro, and Gloria McGuire and her husband Timothy, of Augusta; nine grandchildren Austin, Owen, Myla, Knox, Addison, Emily, Zachary, Abby and Brooke; a great-granddaughter Mary Frances; her mother-in-law, Claire Nickerson, of Augusta; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her brother, Nelson Beane.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Plummer Funeral Home, 983 Ridge Rd., Windsor, ME.

Condolences, photos and stories may be shared at

The family requests that donations in Linda’s memory be made to the Dempsey Center, 778 Main St., South Portland, ME 04106.

Ducks Unlimited to hold annual banquet

Image credit: Ducks Unlimited (

The Kennebec Valley Ducks Unlimited will be holding its 49th annual banquet on Saturday, September 14.

The banquet will be held at the Club Calumet, 334 West River Rd., in Augusta, and will include live and silent auctions, raffles, games of chance and more. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $60 for singles and $90 for couples, and $35 for Greenwing.

For tickets or more information, contact Artie Crocker at 441-2445. Or you may purchase tickets online at

THE MONEY MINUTE: Attention retirees! Will you outlive your money?

by Jac M. Arbour CFP®, ChFC®
President, J.M. Arbour Wealth Management

What is your largest concern about retirement? According to the Wall Street Journal, the number one fear/concern of a retiree is outliving his or her money (the second is requiring Long Term Care due to chronic illness). I have to admit, I understand both of these concerns.

According to most sources available to us today, the average amount of money a retiree has in investable assets the day he or she walks into retirement, is approximately $126,000. It is also estimated that someone retiring today will live an average of twenty five years in retirement. Couple these stats with the uncertainty one can experience in the form of market returns and it is no wonder why people are concerned about how long their money will last. So, what do you do?

In my opinion, the first thing you need to do is run the numbers and do the math. We must run our households like a business and know exactly how much is coming in and how much is going out each month. Second, take a hard look at upcoming capital expenditures and any potential changes in monthly cash flow. The idea here is to derive an accurate number as to how much money will be needed from investable assets in order to pay the bills. The smaller the amount needed, the longer your money will most likely last.

Some people have the ability to tolerate market risk and can stomach some losses when they occur. The contrary is also true. Some households cannot afford to lose five or ten percent of their account balances, never mind thirty-eight percent (which the S&P500 lost in 2008) in a single year.

What is more important to you at this point in your life: Return on Investment or … Reliability of Income? Maybe, just maybe, it is a combination of the two.

Call your advisor and ask questions that directly address your concerns. Determine your probability of success with regard to how long your money should last based on factors such as its current investment allocation and your annual withdrawal rate. Determine which safeguards should be considered and most important, which should be implemented.

Here is what I promise: When you have a clear idea about where it is you are going, it is more likely you will reach that destination.

See you all next month.

Jac Arbour CFP®, ChFC®

Jac Arbour is the President of J.M. Arbour Wealth Management and can be reached at 207-248-6767.
nvestment advisory services are offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

Windsor selectmen reduce tax rate to 12.7 mils

by Sandra Isaac

Windsor selectmen decided to lower the tax rate to 12.7 mils ($12.70 for each $1,000 of valuation) at the August 20 meeting. Last year’s rate was 12.9 mils or $12.90 for each $1000 of valuation.

Assessors Agent, Vernon Ziegler, CMA, met with selectmen to set the 2019-2020 mil rate. Ziegler explained the process in great detail for those attending the meeting. “Windsor tax bills are approximately equal to what the town needs to run, but must include overlay to cover expenses and to make sure there is enough cash flow to keep the town running,” said Ziegler. The state mandates that municipalities shall not exceed five percent overlay.

Currently, the town of Windsor collects over $4 million in taxes, of which $759,000 is needed for the town to function. Approximately 80 percent of taxes collected is allocated to the county and schools.

Other factors that were considered included the revaluation of real estate that will be happening later this year. The last revaluation was completed in 2006. Further discussion topics included comparisons of surrounding towns rates and the four utility companies which currently pay a large portion of the town’s tax receipts.

After reviewing the data and listening to Ziegler’s recommendation, selectmen approved a 12.7 mil rate by a unanimous vote. Town Manager Theresa Haskell scheduled printing of the tax bills for later that evening and expected postal delivery to town property owners starting the last week in August.

In other news, the Ladies Aide was recognized by town officials with the Spirit of America award for its members’ dedication of time, aid and service to the town of Windsor and beyond. In addition to the plaques, the ladies are being invited to the Spirit of America award celebration later this year in Augusta.

During the town manager’s report, Haskell said the auditors completed their visit and that it all went well, but Haskell has yet to receive the final report. The auditor recommended carrying over $59,920 from major road construction to the major road/bridge and culvert replacement reserve, stating the difference is merely a formality to stay consistent with the current wording as approved by voters. Haskell also requested approval to take $10,000 from the bridge reserve account from 2018 that didn’t get transferred, and use it to open a certificate of deposit account (CD) that will mature in July 2020 to coincide with other maturing CDs. The selectmen approved the request.

The next regularly scheduled Windsor selectmen’s meeting will be on Tuesday, September 3 at 6 p.m.

No bounds too challenging; his odds were poor at best

Seth Fowles, center, receiving the rite of baptism, from the Rev. Ron Morrell, right, of the China Baptist Church, assisted by Dwayne Bickford. (photo by Lily-Ann Bickford)

by Jeanne Marquis

The brilliant morning sun glistened off the water when the congregation gathered at the lake shore across the road after Sunday service on August 4. Seth Fowles was baptized by full immersion in China Lake by Pastor Ron Morrell and celebrated by the congregation of China Baptist Church. China Baptist Church has seen numerous baptisms since their founding in 1801; however, this baptism was more challenging because Seth Fowles requires a wheelchair.

In the Christian faith, baptism is a physical demonstration of a person’s belief in Jesus Christ and his or her commitment to join with other believers to live a life that follows the teachings of Jesus. This is why baptism meant so much to Seth Fowles, as his faith had grown, he wished to be complete in his faith. Although there were other options, such as the sprinkling or pouring water on his head, it was important to Seth to be baptized by immersion as he said was “to be baptized like everyone else.” This is in keeping the teachings of Jesus Christ, according to the Christian faith, that everyone is welcomed and encouraged to be baptized, belief being the only prerequisite.

The congregation of China Baptist Church gathers at China Lake for Seth Fowles’ Baptism (photo by Lily-Ann Bickford)

Seth Fowles’ journey in his faith started 20 years ago with a horrible accident on the morning of September 3, 1998. At the time he was an arborist on his way to work in his truck, Seth saw a dog in his path and swerved to avoid the dog. Despite wearing his seatbelt, Seth was ejected from the vehicle and he suffered life-threatening head injuries.

Seth endured extensive brain trauma and slipped into a coma lasting into the next year. His prognosis was not good. His parents, Andrea and Gerald Mason, knew they needed to stay strong for him and stay hopeful, but the odds were poor at best. Seth explained, “The doctors said there was a 99 percent chance I would not come through this. Sometime in March of 1999, I woke up. I thought I was just waking up from a nap. My survival was a divine miracle.”

Seth’s faith also awakened. Prior to the accident, he was not a religious person. As he convalesced through the years, he studied the Bible and grew spiritually. When Pastor Ron Morrell asked for requests to be baptized this summer, Seth expressed his desire to be baptized by immersion. Without hesitation, Pastor Ron Morrell felt Seth was ready and enlisted the help of four members to guide the wheelchair in and out of the lake: Dwayne Bickford, Bob Noonan, Dale Peabody and John Starkey.

Dwayne Bickford, a deacon of China Baptist Church, said, “When Pastor Ron brought it up and we talked about what it would take, I never doubted whether we could make it happen. When it came time, I felt so honored to be a small part of it. I know it meant a lot to Seth. I was moved by all the love and support shown by the whole congregation. The Lord blessed us all that day.”

Seth said, “It was a complete Baptism by water. I was helped into the water by four men from the church; these are my brothers. Even though water came to my chest, I trusted them entirely.”

Seth’s baptism captured the deeper meaning of this Christian sacrament. It is a public expression of faith and commitment to a community of other believers. Entering into the commitment of baptism does take an element of trust and knowledge that you will be supported by the emotional strength of others within your faith community. In the same way, Seth’s story supplies strength to those who have of the pleasure of knowing him.

You may be asking, ‘What happened to the dog who passed in front of Seth’s vehicle on that tragic morning?’ Seth remembers he regained consciousness briefly just after the accident. While Seth was experiencing extreme nausea at the side of the road, the dog came over to check on him. The dog had survived.